Skip to main content

Migrant smuggling report debated by Lords

13 June 2016

On Wednesday 15 June the House of Lords debates the European Union Committee's report, EU Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling.


The EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015–2020) was published by the European Commission on 27 May 2015. It sets out a list of priorities and objectives with the aim of making migrant smuggling a “high risk, low return” undertaking.

The Debate

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee undertook an inquiry on the Action Plan, and published its report in November 2015. Its main conclusions included:

  • The current refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian problem to have faced the EU since its foundation
  • The Action Plan's priorities are essentially correct, but it is important that as much focus is placed on the humanitarian aspects of the crisis as on law enforcement
  • Following the Commission's review of the EU framework, it should aim to bring legislation into line with the UN Protocol that concerns migrant smuggling. It should only criminalise acts committed for financial gain and not for humanitarian purposes. It should also add inhuman and degrading treatment as aggravating factors in the sentencing of convicted smugglers
  • It is important that EU Agencies, which are tasked with implementing the Action Plan, are properly resourced, they collaborate and coordinate their work, and that they are monitored and held accountable

Further information

Image: iStockphoto